ConAgra vows to cut packaging, water and waste by 2015

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Greenhouse gas emissions, Greenhouse gas, Recycling, Sustainable agriculture

ConAgra has unveiled a raft of eco-measures aimed at “significantly” reducing its carbon footprint by slashing its packaging, water use and the waste it sends to landfill by 2015.

The US-based food giant also pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a fifth and support efforts to green its supply chain as it laid out what it called “five aggressive sustainability goals” to be applied across the company.

Using 2008 as a baseline, the firm vowed to cut packaging by 10 per cent per pound of product produced. It also said it would boost the amount of packaging made from renewable resources from 45 per cent to more than 50 per cent within the next five years, as well as increasing the use of recycled content in packaging overall by 25 per cent.

The food processor also said it was planning to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent per pound of product produced as compared to 2008 emissions, and shrink its water use by 15 per cent. Under the proposals, the amount of solid waste it sends to landfill will fall by 75 per cent as compared to projected levels for 2011.

Supply chain

However, ConAgra’s measures around making its supply chain more environmentally friendly were less detailed as it said it would only “encourage continuous improvement of the supply chain in the areas of energy, water, materials and waste”.​ The company said it would work with growers to promote “sustainable farming practices that optimise yield while improving land stewardship”.

"Because our food is part of the lives of millions of consumers each day, ConAgra Foods has a critical responsibility to create positive environmental change,"​ said Gary Rodkin, ConAgra Foods CEO. "We've set these new transparent sustainability goals to ensure we are a leader in continuously improving the way we make food, and to continue to create more awareness for what others can do to improve as well."

ConAgra’s green goals come after the company recently announced the opening of an environmentally friendly food processing plant later this year. The Lamb Weston facility, in Delhi, Louisiana, due to open in November, will be one of the first food plants in the country using the newest and best processing and packaging technologies in the industry and following LEED standards for environmentally sustainable construction, said the company.

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